For what age and tests is Kindergarten Test Study System (KTSS)
KTSS prepares children ages 4 - 5 for standardized ability tests given as
part of an assessment for placement in gifted and talented kindergarten or first
To meet the varying developmental needs of children this age, KTSS can be
tailored to be somewhat difficult or significantly easier. Children will
learn the same important concepts, regardless of whether they are able to
answer the difficult versions of the questions or whether they require
Is test preparation ethical?
Anyone who is being tested has a right to prepare for, or at
least be informed about, that test. However, anyone who provides
test preparation is responsible for protecting the integrity of that test. To
develop and provide appropriate and ethical test preparation, KTSS was
developed in consultation with members of the ethics committees of The
American Psychological Association and the National Council on Measurement
in Education. Prior to commercial release, KTSS was shared with the
company that publishes the OLSAT® and the WPPSI®
to ensure that these tests
remain secure. These
efforts assure that KTSS doesn’t invalidate a test and create
inflated and spurious test scores.
Why is it important that KTSS follows ethical guidelines?
Adherence to ethical guidelines assures parents that their children will not have been prepared in a
way that's inappropriate. Inappropriate test preparation
occurs when children are given actual test material, or material that is so
purposefully similar to test material, that test results are meaningless.
Test examiners can sometimes detect if a child has been prepared
inappropriately, and computer-scored test protocols can sometimes show
evidence of statistically improbable response patterns. Whether
detected or not, inappropriate test preparation can have unfortunate
How does KTSS encourage children to persist when faced with difficult
Unless children have been familiarized with difficult questions, they
sometimes give random, silly, or hasty answers even if they otherwise could
work through difficult questions and give correct answers. KTSS can be
tailored to be as difficult as is required to give children practice
handling difficult questions. Also, research shows that, for children,
persistence on tests can be increased by the type of feedback an adult gives
a child while they're working through a challenging problem. The typical
things that parents may say to encourage their child (e.g., "that's right,"
"you're doing so well") are okay but they don't encourage persistence. The
adult's script in KTSS is very specific in giving feedback that's been found
to encourage persistence and help children do their best.
Do you make any guarantee about my child's test performance if I use KTSS?
The truth about test preparation-- all test preparation-- is that there’s no
worthwhile evidence that it can significantly “get results,” or “gets kids
in” to programs (Wall Street Journal, 5/20/09). Making
these claims is inherently misleading because it’s difficult to collect
What test preparation can do, if it’s done right, is overcome barriers that
can prevent children from doing their best on a test. In
other words, you can think
of test preparation as practice that can rid your child of impediments that
can mask his or her true ability.
Is it necessary to prepare my child for testing?
No. Without any preparation a child can perform extremely well. Test
preparation is not necessary, but it may be useful. KTSS can prevent
children from being held back from giving their best performance due to lack
of familiarity with key
critical thinking skills or
due to lack of persistence when confronting difficult material. Although
preparation may be useful, no amount of appropriate test preparation will make a child with
average-range ability appear to have superior ability.
How accurate are tests for kids this age anyway?
Kids this age are not prime candidates for ability testing. Although
testing can help identify some bright young children who may benefit from
accelerated academic programs, cognition is still in development and test
results are to be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, descriptions of
the childhoods of Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill suggest that they
would have done poorly on such testing, and wouldn't have done well in any
sort of accelerated academic program in their younger years. If your
child doesn't do well on this test, it may leave you with some practical
problems of where to go to school next year, but just know that your child
is in very good company.
When is the best time to start using KTSS to prepare for testing?
It's usually good to start 3-8 weeks prior to the test date. Most
children benefit from short periods of practice, usually about 15 minutes,
that spans a few weeks.
Does my child need to be able to read to be tested?
No. Reading ability is not assumed or required for the versions of the tests
that are used to assess children entering kindergarten and first grade.
Similarly, KTSS assumes no reading ability.
Is my child at a disadvantage if he is a "young 4" (e.g., will turn 4 in
December) when compared with "older 4's" (e.g., turned 4 last January and
soon will be turning 5)?
This is an understandable concern, because at this age, a year can make a
big difference in a child's cognitive development. However, standardized
tests administered to young children have extensive
normative data, and the normative groups are based on age in MONTHS, not
years. A child who is 4 years and 0 months can be placed in a different
normative group than a child who is 4 years and 11 months. In other words,
children are compared with others who are very close in age.
Because children of different ages with different levels of cognitive
development prepare for these tests, KTSS can be tailored to meet the needs
of children in varying stages of cognitive development.